TULLAHOMA — Michael Curtis, of Tullahoma, charged with murder in the death of Kayla Qualls, 23, also of Tullahoma, made an appearance in a Coffee County General Sessions courtroom Monday.
The purpose of the meeting was to determine if Curtis had representation by an attorney. During the meeting, he informed Judge Jere Ledsinger that he was not represented by an attorney.
“I talked with an attorney, but he isn’t here,” Curtis told the judge.
Ledsinger then appointed Jess Stockwell of the Coffee County Public Defender’s Office to represent Curtis.
Curtis is accused of killing Qualls, of 1813 E. Lincoln St., on Monday, Nov. 26, at his residence on General Street, then placing her body in her SUV and driving it to an area on Spring Creek Road in Franklin County.
Curtis is said to be the grandfather of Qualls’ two children and the father of her former boyfriend, who is her children’s father.
According to Franklin County Sheriff Tim Fuller, Qualls died of blunt force trauma to the head.
Curtis was arrested last Wednesday after investigators from the Franklin and Coffee County sheriff departments, the Tullahoma Police Department and agents from the TBI conducted a search of his residence. Investigators say they seized several pieces of evidence from the residence, which were sent to the TBI Crime Lab in Nashville for analysis.
After the public defender was named to represent Curtis, he was returned to his cell in the Coffee County Jail, where he is being held under a $1 million bond.
A preliminary hearing will be held Jan. 22 in Coffee County General Session Court.
By WAYNE THOMAS, Tullahoma News Staff Writer (Wayne Thomas may be reached by email at <email@example.com>)